Monday, 1 January 2018

From Curt: Viet Minh Reinforcements, French Indochina 1954 (55 Points)

First, Happy New Year everyone!!

I thought I'd put Sid through his paces today by sending him a final post before he turned in for the evening.

Here is another small addition to my French Indochina collection, eleven Viet Minh infantrymen dressed and equipped as they would have been during the titanic battles along 'The Street without Joy' in 1953, and Dien Bien Phu the following year.

A popular western misconception is that the Viet Minh were poorly armed, while in fact they were often better equipped than their French adversaries, being well supplied by both Communist China and the USSR.

These soldiers were the precursors of the Viet Cong and NVA, and so were armed with many WWII era weapons. The Mosin Nagant rifle, the DP light machine gun and the PPSh/PPS series submachine guns would've been very common fixtures within the Viet Minh ranks. The assault units would have had a very high proportion of automatic weapons, reflecting their aggressive close combat doctrine.  

The heavy machine gun on the low-slung wheeled carriage is a Soviet DSHK-38. The assistant/loader is providing supporting fire with a captured French MAT49 SMG and the flank guard has a Chinese made PPS.

I really liked this model as it brings a little sobering reality to our wee tabletop battlefields.

Finally, a shot of them with the rest of their platoon (really, a thinly veiled excuse to get the banner, with its bit of vibrant colour amongst the earth tones, in there somewhere).

Thanks for dropping in!


Happy New Year, Curt!!

Wow, these are terrific and so well worth the wait this evening.  What a terrific addition to your force.  There is so much to love about these troops, and the general "feel" of the Viet Minh figures in your submission.  They've got a really attractive combination of being tooled up to the eyeballs, while retaining a very different feel, theme and fighting style to Soviet WW2 forces, or even Japanese troops in Burma.  I love the Viet Minh officer and bugler, and the Soviet DSHK-38 with the automatic weapon armed crew member - those guys are guaranteed to make a mess of any of the Legion Etranger New Year's celebrations.

Wonderful painting and basing on all of these guys, Curt - with your trademark muted palette and ferocious jungle growth simply oozing off the bases.  They really are a great addition to the forces you're collecting.  And a thoroughly well-deserved 55 points, Sir!

Side Duels Roster and Points Updated

With thanks to Getty Images, Edwin King and camel trainers everywhere!

Hi All,

The second points update for the Side Duels and Challenges has been posted.

We've had the further shots fired in the Black Powder duel but that's all at this point. I fear it may be the calm before the storm!

Millsy The Duels Wallah

MartinN: Reinforcements for La Legión: Spanish Civil War Republicans (80pts)

My first post in the new year and I'm back to a project from last years challenge. Back then I started what was to become my main project for the whole of 2017, i.e. a force for gaming the Spanish Civil War. I settled on starting with the rather fetching Spanish foreign legion but it inevitably became two forces as I simply couldn't pass by all those lovely Republicans on offer from Empress Miniatures.
Still, I'm back to reinforce la Legión in order to finally get in some games using Chain of Command from the TooFatLardies.

Initially I had planned to submit these in the old year still, but that plan of course fared the same fate as every plan ever derived by men. Thus these still sat on my painting table, albeit only needing a few  more brush strokes, when the clock announced the arrival of yet another year.
Somehow it's always the same. A new year comes but the old year still isn't completely over as there's still work left that needs attention.

To add a splash of colour to these lads I decided to add rank insignia to a few. These will also come in handy for CoC as one should be able to distinguish his 'big men' from the common grunts.
The figures used were a mix of Legionaries and Falangists. The main difference between these two forces is -as far as the figures are concerned- the Legion is still sporting the older M08 webbing while the Falange uses the regular Spanish webbing. Historically that's accurate for the beginning of the war, but later on the M08 got successively replaced by the regular webbing.

Over the last year I've changed some of my painting recipes, so these don't match perfectly with my older figures, but do merge well enough. With these done I'm confident to have enough figures for both sides to finally get in a game. But as I seemingly can't get enough of this period there are already more waiting in the painting queue.
These will have to wait a few days though, as we're leaving for a short trip to Rome in a few hours time. Finally I'll see the wonders of the eternal city.
I wonder if this'll mean a possible reorientation in the painting queue? Well, we'll see soon enough I guess.

So, all in all these are sixteen 28mm figures and thus should add another 80 points to my tally. I'm off to the plane now!


Happy New Year, Nick!!

And what a fantastic gift for us all to enjoy while you head off to Rome!  A wonderful selection of Empress Miniature Republicans, which look to be glowing with life, movement and colour.  I know these figures well, having seen them on the table at my local club, and I am marvelling at what a wonderful job you've made of them.  You've lost nothing of your brush-skills over the last year, I can see.

I particularly like the flesh-tones you add to your figures.  They're so realistic and you manage to get so much depth into the face.  Wonderful, .... truly wonderful.

Fine bases as well, Nick - and ideal for a dusty battleground in the Spanish sierras.

A great contribution, and great to see you back in action, garnering a fine 80 points!  

Now, get in that taxi, Sir, and don't miss your flight!!!  Bon voyage!

From BenitoM - Austrian Napoleonic Line Infantry (40 points)

Firstly, a very Happy New Year to all, hope 2018 is a year of health and prosperity to all Challenge participants.

I had a productive New Year Day today and managed to complete a couple of additional bases for my Austrian Napoleonic project. Listening this morning the New Year Concert from Vienna probably helped and inspired my work on these Austrians!

As the previous submission, these forces will form part of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment Erzherzog Carl Lower Austrian. Only 1 more base (4 models) to paint to conclude the battalion. These are all Victrix 28mm scale models.

Painting white uniforms is definitely hellish, but 60 models after I think I have got it more or less right by now, specially in terms of painting speed. Each model requires several layers of paint to have it completed, which means a lot of time invested in each; and it's difficult to paint several at the same time, you end saving time going one by one or at least this is my experience so far.

After finishing the last company of the battalion I may be attempting painting my first Landwehr unit, a couple of battalions of the Vienna Volunteers, a unit that was actively involved in the 1809 campaigns.

If my maths are right this submission will add 40 points (8 models scale 28mm  x 5 points) to my Challenge score and also increases my scoring of the Black Powder Duel. I have reached  50% of my target by now (500 points) which is not bad considering that my output rate is going to fall substantially once I finish the Christmas break.


Happy New Year, Benito - and Feliz año nuevo!

You're continuing the New Year in the awesome style with which you left 2017. Austrians and their chocolate box white uniforms have been the bane and nightmares of many a painters' holidays, but you've made fine work of these Victrix miniatures! They're absolutely terrific - the white looks splendid, and clearly your confidence with the brush is really paying off big time.

Maybe it was the New Year's Day concert which provided the inspiration, but these figures will really look splendid on a tabletop, marching impressively against the French. A well-earned 40 points - and, yes, that is a fantastic total you've amassed in the Challenge so far.  

Really, very well done Sir!

From EvanH - 28mm Purple Worm (12 points)

This one snuck up on me - I'm a Monday Challenger, so I had to get something extra in on the rostered day immediately after the free-for-all period finished! I pray I am not too late... 

This is the Reaper Bones Giant Worm, which I have painted up as the Purple Worm, the high-level dungeon denizen nobody wants erupting from beneath them. An old fave from the AD&D Monster Manual, this has been a hardy perennial in many a campaign.

Now as it's a slimy subterranean beastie, I've given it a gloss finish to suggest a viscous sheen over its rugose hide (if I can just use the words 'squamous' and 'blasphemous' in the next few sentences, I win Lovecraft Vocab Bingo).

Hayfever. Gets you every time.

No. he's not sneezing, I used Araldite coloured with a drop of yellow ink to simulate the mucous drool invariably exuded by horrible fantasy invertebrates. I dipped a length of nylon fishing line into the mixture and hung it up to set. I was then able to cut the resulting string of droplets into suitable pieces to glue around the awful maw of the annelid from Hell. 

He is sculpted with a number of nodules, which I picked out in yellow to resemble pustules or similar unsavoury growths. Yellow works well as a contrast colour to purple, and I'm glad I took the time to add this small counterpoint.

I have tried to give the impression that the creature has just erupted from the Stygian depths (hence the tumbling stones added to the base), thrashing to and fro in search of its next meal, spraying the surrounding area with horrid blobs of saliva.

That's the first of my entries for the regular submission phase; as he comes in at 60mm tall, scoring him as a cavalry fig seems fair. So another 10 points on the board then, please, Mr Moderator?

Bonus Round will definitely have to be the next cab off the rank.

Stay tuned!



Happy New Apocalypse.....New Year, Ev!!

Now that's just BLASPHEMOUS?  How can you, in all humanity, post something so horrifically SQUAMOUS.  Truly unpleasant.....  I'm shocked....

In fact, I am shocked.... shocked by just how awesome this looks!  What a great colour scheme and a terrific addition of vile, mucus drool being ejected from its cavernous mouth. The Araldite mucus-snot is a thing of beauty (or, at least, as beautiful as any snot can be). Adding the yellow ink was an inspired move, and worked perfectly.  Top marks for boldness in doing this.

I also really like the basing.  As a seasoned investigator of dark and creepy malevolent beings in the 1920s, I'd be scared witless if this monster emerged from the floor of my local temple.  And well done for offering a true Monster in this monster-related Challenge.

A worthy 12 points indeed (a fine 10 points, but with an extra couple added for the very fine, and innovative, use of Araldite mucus-snot).  Top work, Ev!

From ChristopherS: 28mm French Irregulars (30pts)

My first entry into the AHPC is in the form of French Irregulars for my French and Indian War project I started about 4 years ago, but somehow got side tracked by other projects along the way. Gee I wonder how that happens with me....(sarc) I plan on using them for both Muskets and Tomahawks and Sharp Practice.

They will be used as either French Militia or more likely Coueurs des bois depending on the scenario. Most my French militia (yet to be painted) are in summer gear and these are more in fall clothing so will look different helping to distinguish them from the others.

I painted them using mostly Foundry colors and some Vallejo mixed in plus Mig Pigments.

The figures are from Galloping Major and are very painter friendly with nice raised detail making painting them quite pleasurable. Like Redoubt,  the figures pack some character and weigh in on the chunky side, but I prefer that to the slimier sculpts of some other manufactures. The sculpting really does give a certain mood to the figures that I like if that makes sense.

I believe 5 28mm figures is worth 30pts. and for sure not a points bomb, but at least a start.Who am I kidding I don't think I'm even capable of a points bomb anyhow! :-)

Thank you for viewing!


Happy New Year, Christopher!  

These are really lovely figures.  They are just going to be perfect on the table, and will fit in with all kinds of actions in the Seven Years' War, and no doubt many other conflicts in the eighteenth century.  I love the natural tones and shades you have used - just perfect for stalking quietly through the endless forests along the St. Lawrence.

The figure basing is terrific.  I've always loved your basing style, and your wonderful figures single-handedly (from past Challenges) made me want to do better on my bases, and add in tufts and flowering grasses.  And I can see you've done the business here again.

So, 30 well-earned and well-accumulated points for your French Irregulars!  Magnifique, mon ami!!!

From ValeryN - The result of the pre-New Year's work: Soviet Artillery Batteries and Prime Movers (196 pts)

Hello everybody! 

The New Year has not yet come, Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 6-7, so the whole last week I worked actively with a brush.

Today I want to present to your attention a few units for my Soviet army for the Flames of War.

The first unit is the artillery battery of divisional howitzer M-30:


The second division of heavy guns is the famous ML-20. They formed the basis of the reserve artillery of the Red Army Supreme Command. 

The battery includes 4 howitzers, headquarters and an observer:

During the Second World War, a serious problem for the Soviet army was the shortage of caterpillar tractors for towing heavy artillery. In the first period of the war on the Eastern Front, a lot of heavy artillery was thrown on the roadside because there was not enough equipment to transport them. But my guns will not suffer such a fate, because I now have them:

This caterpillar tractor was produced in the USSR, at the Stalingrad Tractor Plant in 1937-1942 on the basis of the tractor SKTZ-NATI («Stalinets»). A total of 10,000 such tractors were produced. The soldiers he received an informal nickname «Golovastik» (tadpole).

And this "Komsomolets" is another tractor, though for lighter artillery, which was also produced in the USSR before the Second World War.

And finally, the reinforcement for my Soviet army in the early period of the war - famous T-34 models of 1941:

That's all that was painted over the past week:

In total, 12 vehicles, 8 cannons and 46 soldiers - 196 points.

I wish everyone a happy New Year, new projects, new games and lots of fun from our hobby!



Happy New Year, Valery!!  What a fantastic haul of Soviet ear-popping and ground-thundering artillery!!  Truly awesome in quantity, quality and sheer bombardment noise.  And all in one week - really a terrific contribution to the Challenge, Sir!  

I always feel that with a Russian or Soviet army you just need to have a lot of artillery - and your opponents will almost expect it!  True, it might not always obliterate the target, but generally it makes a hugely impressive noise to impress the Comintern, Party apparachniks, or the Imperial Court in Moscow or St. Petersburg.  And that's at least part of the point, right?

I particularly like the artillery prime-movers, including the Tadpoles!  Lovely castings and finely presented.  And all contributing to a very considerable salvo of 196 points!!!  


The Monday Minion's First Monday - HAPPY NEW YEAR, CHALLENGERS!!!

Happy New Year, dear Challengers!!

I hope that you all had a fantastic New Year's Eve party, celebration, firework extravaganza, donnybrook, quiet glass of sherry, or evening-in watching the telly.  However you celebrated, I wish you all a wonderful, happy, relaxing, paint-filled 2018.

And, to get that New Year off to a terrific start, can I reassure you all that you're in the RIGHT PLACE for that!  (Sorry, was that a little too loud for some sensitive heads this morning.  I'll speak more softly for the rest of this post, I promise.... )

I'm Sidney Roundwood, and I'm the Monday Minion for this year's Challenge.  So I shall be here for points scoring and introducing of the fine painting submissions of the "Monday Crowd".  And a finer Crowd of painters I cannot imagine.  They hail from every corner of the globe, and their brush-skills are a great way to get us all inspired to have at least a few minutes today at the painting table, bench, ledge or desk.

We have some superb Soviets, some fantastic French, and a wondrous purple addition to the flock.  And that's just to get us started..... 

So, without more waffle from me, let's get on with the show!!!